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National Motor Museum Blog - August 2016

Arguably one of the most extraordinary cars ever to grace the silver screen, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has captured the imagination of millions of children. Now a stunning reconstruction of one of the film’s cars is making its debut at Beaulieu, being driven around the grounds during the summer.


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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang reconstruction

Several Chittys were built for filming, including one in racing guise which was used for the motorsport sequence in the film’s opening credits. As part of the story, this car was crashed and burst into flames.

Authentic parts from this wrecked car were used to build the Chitty reconstruction which has just arrived at Beaulieu. These parts include three body panels, part of the elegant radiator cowling, one of the headlamps, wheels and leather straps. The boat builder who created the original wooden ‘boat tail’ bodies has also made a new version for this Chitty reconstruction and a V6 engine has been installed to give this stunning machine power.

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Following preparation by the workshop engineers, the car made its eye-catching debut at this year’s Beaulieu Village Fete, when it stylishly delivered Lord Montagu, Eastenders actor Stefan Booth and his son Benjamin for the celebrity opening and ribbon cutting on the lawns of Palace House.

The Chitty reconstruction is now ready for photo opportunities for visitors this summer.

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Motorcycle Magnificence

The National Motor Museum’s 1961 Honda RC162 has had a busy month. After preparation by the workshop engineers, this historic motorcycle has impressed spectators at two events.

The 1961 racer, which was famously ridden to victory in the Isle of Man TT race by Mike Hailwood, took part in a tribute parade at Castle Combe in celebration of 65 years of motorcycle racing at the circuit.

Former Honda factory team rider Stuart Graham took to the track with the bike, although a broken clutch cable required a quick fix from the workshop engineers.

“Once this was fixed, the bike was off like a rocket,” said engineer Mike Gillett. When the bike returned to the pits, it was fitting that Mike Hailwood’s son and grandson were able to take a closer look at this incredible machine.

The Honda was also one of the stars of Beaulieu’s Simply Bikes rally, when it was started up outside the entrance to the museum, to the delight of enthusiasts. Despite its modest 249cc engine size, the Honda’s loud exhaust meant that some spectators needed the free ear plugs which were handed out.

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